Drollery for the diapered set: Distinctly out-of-place creatures lurk beneath glued-in flaps.
Aiming for toddler audiences, Shuttlewood crafts very simple screen-print–style scenes with bemused, popeyed animals. On each spread, a single large flap imperfectly conceals an interloper—from a penguin in the titular tree to an octopus in a jungle setting, an elephant floating behind a cloud and a lion on an ice floe. Along with visual clues, the author adds a rhymed text with broad hints: “In ice and snow / who does not GO, / with mane so thick / and roar so LOW?” It’s all good fun, until a final gathering in a zoo finds the errant creatures disturbingly proclaiming: “WHO’S in this zoo / and just won’t do? / NOT US! / The odd one out is… / YOU!” Although the pig looks out at readers and encourages them to “join our crew,” this may well catch readers off guard. This is followed by a closing gallery with clear labels that make the accompanying “Did you guess the names of all the animals?” not much of a challenge.
A cousin to Eric Hill’s Spot series, derailed by a problematic end. (Picture book. 1-3)